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Amalia Mesa-Bains Multiculturalism Not euphemistic (substitution of an agreeable expression for one that may offend) sense but consideration of race, class,

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Presentation on theme: "Amalia Mesa-Bains Multiculturalism Not euphemistic (substitution of an agreeable expression for one that may offend) sense but consideration of race, class,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Amalia Mesa-Bains Multiculturalism Not euphemistic (substitution of an agreeable expression for one that may offend) sense but consideration of race, class, gender Not just mere entertainment “Another system of knowledge and thought” (p. 103) patrimony, cultural memory, diverse aesthetic perspective (p. 104) New Museology Transitional age – postcolonial diaspora – transcultural exchange “Interethnic intimacy” Carlos More (p. 100) Respect, understanding, exchange Aim: An expanded sense of an American aesthetic (p. 108)

2 Michael M. Ames Multiculturalism “The Browning of America” How much cultural diversity can we tolerate? What is the impact of ethnicity on public culture? “Cultural trepassing” – Do non- Natives any longer have the right to interpret native creativity? (p. 83) Assertion of collective (ethnic ) rights over those of the individual (p. 94) New Museology Age of deconstruction: Authority of cultural and educational institutions questioned – Traditional canon criticized for Eurocentric and male- oriented bias Art, artifacts and their institutions have politics. Deciding what is “art” …is a political act” (p. 83) The “real thing” is the experience of the visitor, not the object or its interpretation by a curator” (p. 87) Aim: Democratization of the museum (consumerism- post-modernism)

3 Elaine Heumann Gurian Multiculturalism It is the ownership of the story not the object itself that disputes are about (p. 271) Quality - “cultures whose aesthetic might be different…( p.275) Who selects the object by what criteria? Object care, use, ownership – Accommodations to the beliefs of the producers of the materials or their descendants…necessary. (278) New Museology Museums may not need objects any longer to justify their work (p. 270) Instead…place, memory Shared ownership, appropriate use, and potentially removal and return… Ex. Desecrated torahs by Jewish tradition should be buried, yet some on view in US Holocaust Museum. May be petitioned for reburial. We need collective history in congregant locations to remain civilized.” (p. 283)

4 Duncan Cameron Glenbow Museum in Calgary Multiculturalism “Temple or Forum?” “Equality of cultural opportunity” Class-based analysis – problems- curators academic elite “private club of curators” – value system of middle, upper-middle class. Audience mobile (high education achievement levels, museum goers) and non-mobile (mass-media, “unsophisticated”?) New Museology Universals – A. The idea of collecting, B. timeless function- the use of the structured sample of reality as an objective model to compare individual perceptions The academic systems of classification must be replaced (supplemented) by interpretations of the collections based on the probable experience and awareness of the museum audience. P. 67 The “democratic museum” There is a clear and urgent need for the reestablishment of the forum as an institution in society. p. 68 “Museums are essential in the life of any society that pretends to civilization.” p. 67

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6 Gioia noted that statistical studies show that the nation is splitting into two groups. The first "spends most of its free time sitting at home as passive consumers of electronic entertainment," with family communication disintegrating as its members are increasingly isolated, "staring at their individual screens." The second group also enjoys the new technology, but exercises, plays sports, volunteers and does charity work at about three times the level of the first group. "By every measure they are vastly more active and socially engaged than the first group," he said. The defining difference between the groups is not income or education, but "whether or not they read for pleasure and participate in the arts. These cultural activities seem to awaken a heightened sense of individual awareness and social responsibility." Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, during Stanford University's 116th Commencement

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10 Here Is New York: Remembering 9/11 This exhibition of photographs and artifacts opens on Tuesday at the New-York Historical Society. By EDWARD ROTHSTEIN NYT September 11, 2007EDWARD ROTHSTEIN In two galleries, 1,500 inkjet-printed photos taken six years ago during those apocalyptic days are mounted with simple stationery clips. They are reminders of hidden pressure points and buried sensations. The photos, without credits, titles or dates, from 790 contributors, range from the amateur to the professional, from the clearly posed composition to the frenzied snap of a moment.

11 It isn’t memory that is the issue. It is commemoration. Memory, at least right now, is readily summoned. Commemoration is something else altogether. Commemoration provides interpretation; it offers a public meaning that survives the event. It surpasses private experience and continues to provide significance even when memory is long gone. Commemoration is not a matter of healing or feeling; it is a matter of meaning. The problem is that no other event I can think of has proved so resistant to public commemoration. The record has been dismal. Ground zero itself is still contested ground wrestled over by competing interest groups. The events of 9/11 did not arise out of natural disasters. 9/11 was an attack. And it was an attack not just on individuals, but also on national institutions. That is why it merits public commemoration, not a pastoral meditation space

12 Commemoration provides interpretation; it offers a public meaning that survives the event. Rothstein Is commemoration the same concept as Cameron’s “forum”? What has changed since 1971? (36 years…). What serves as a “forum” in 2007?


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